It’s been a good first week at the Wimbledon Championships. The sun has been shining, reigning British champion Andy Murray has won his first two matches of the tournament, and history was made when four British tennis players made it through to the Third Round of Wimbledon for the first time in 20 years.
However, it appears a slight shadow has been cast over proceedings, as there are rumours of unfair play amongst competitors and disgruntled spectators who paid for tickets to watch the world’s top tennis players, only to have the matches cut short.
The speculation began after a number of first round matches ended prematurely earlier this week, with some claiming that unfit competitors were faking injuries for strategic advantage and merely turning up to the tournament to claim the £35,000 prize money for appearing in the first round, before pulling out of their matches less than half way through.
Earlier this week another player admitted to faking a back injury for a strategic advantage leading fans and ticket holders to admit they felt ‘cheated’ and calling for further investigation into the matter.
Some claimed that Wimbledon’s image was ‘damaged’ as crowds were ‘bitterly disappointed’ when opponents of both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic retired from their matches on Centre Court in the middle of the second set, meaning spectators hardly got to watch the tennis stars on court.
The number of first round matches ending prematurely has reach an all time high this year. The total of eight matches ended is the highest it has been since 2008.
However, in much better news for the Wimbledon Championships, British tennis players enjoyed a historic day yesterday as four players from the UK all made it through to the Third Round of the tournament for the first time in 20 years.
Johanna Konta celebrates her win at Wimbledon
British number one Johanna Konta, British number two Heather Watson, Aljaz Bedene and defending champion and number one seed Andy Murray, all won their matches to take them through to the third round of the Championships.
“I absolutely love playing in front of Brit crowds. Not many players get a home Slam, so I feel very fortunate about that” Johanna Konta said.